Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Cerén Village in by Payson Sheets

By Payson Sheets

On an August night round advert six hundred, citizens of the Cerén village within the Zapotitán Valley of what's now El Salvador have been sitting right down to their nightly meal whilst flooring tremors and loud steam emissions warned of an approaching volcanic eruption. The villagers fled, leaving their city to be buried below 5 meters of volcanic ash and forgotten until eventually a bulldozer exposed facts of the terribly preserved city in 1976. the main intact Precolumbian village in Latin the US, Cerén has been referred to as the "Pompeii of the recent World."

This publication and its accompanying CD-ROM and site ( current entire and certain studies of the excavations conducted at Cerén considering the fact that 1978 by means of a multidisciplinary staff of archaeologists, ethnographers, volcanologists, geophysicists, botanists, conservators, and others. The publication is split into sections that debate the actual atmosphere and assets, loved ones buildings and economic climate, distinct constructions and their makes use of, artifact research, and topical and theoretical issues.

As the authors current and learn Cerén's homes and their items, workshops, civic and spiritual constructions, kitchen gardens, planted fields, and rubbish dumps, a brand new and masses clearer photo of the way commoners lived in the course of the Maya vintage interval emerges. those findings represent landmark contributions to the anthropology and archaeology of critical America.

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Additional resources for Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Cerén Village in Central America

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Ground-penetrating radar equipment was more difficult to transport to and from the field than that needed for resistivity surveys. The resulting data also needed more sophisticated data processing and interpretation techniques. Even the modern digital systems, which are much smaller than the system taken to Cerén in 1979, must be packed in a number of shipping containers. Fairly powerful computers and sophisticated software are also needed to process the data. As a result, little data were available for interpretation in the field, a detriment when immediate results are a necessity.

S. Customs, which did not want to allow the instrumentation out of the country for fear that the sophisticated electronics would fall into unfriendly hands. S. Congress in order to obtain a special waiver of the shipping ban. The fact that the 1979 GPR survey discovered only one anomaly with GPR that proved to be cul- conyers and spetzler tural in nature, as well as the relatively greater success of resistivity measurements, almost biased the project against GPR. Only lately, with new digital acquisition and computer processing methods, has GPR produced results superior to the other instruments attempted at Cerén.

The earliest use of GPR at Cerén was in 1979, when a SIR-7 subsurface interface radar system with a single 80 MHz frequency antenna was used (Loker 1983; Sheets et al. 1985). The antenna was mounted on the rear of an oxcart, which provided a very consistent speed of movement. The oxcart mounting also provided a consistent 10 cm spacing between the antenna and the ground surface. In the cart were a gas-powered electrical generator, DC converter, graphic recorder, FM tape recorder, and the geophysicist.

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